“In the letter we appealed to the President as the guarantor who ensures that justice is just,” reported Patriarch Sviatoslav about the meeting of the heads of the churches with Viktor Yanukovych

Thursday, 12 April 2012, 22:01
Today, during a two and a half hour meeting with the heads of the Ukrainian churches, President Viktor Yanukovych informed the gathering that their petition to pardon Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko is only possible once all the court processes involving them have been settled. This was related by the Primate of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC), Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) who participated in the meeting with the President.
Today, during a two and a half hour meeting with the heads of the Ukrainian churches, President Viktor Yanukovych informed the gathering that their petition to pardon Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko is only possible once all the court processes involving them have been settled.  This was related by the Primate of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC), Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) who participated in the meeting with the President. As the UGCC Primate stated, today’s meeting was initiated by the President, in response to the letter of the heads of the churches to bring a change in the clemency process in Ukraine.  “Our understanding is that President Viktor Yanukovych considered it necessary to answer the request personally instead of resorting to an answer in the form of a letter,” said Patriarch Sviatoslav. According to him, there were “many ideas” voiced at the meeting.  He summarized his personal impression of the meeting as, “First of all, Viktor Yanukovych stressed that he treated the letter very seriously.  Secondly, he explained the process of developing a new criminal code…  The President stated that we, who appealed for the clemency of Yulia Tymoshenko, are participants of the process.  Therefore, we expect that we will be notified as to the stage of consideration that our appeal has been accorded.” In his statement to the President, Patriarch Sviatoslav primarily explained that the letter of the heads of the churches was not a demand but rather a request that was not relegated to a single person, but the entire clemency procedure.  In addition, the UGCC Primate emphasized that during the transitional period when changes are being made to the Criminal Code, the concept of mercy is extremely significant.  Therefore, it is exactly during this timeframe, that the churches wanted to focus on the value of mercy and, as a consequence, clemency. “In the letter we appealed to the President as a guarantor, that justice be justly accorded.   Especially in this time of transition, until the laws of Ukraine are brought to conform to the Criminal Code,” stated Patriarch Sviatoslav. During the meeting the heads of the churches also presented Ukraine’s President with a letter expressing the unacceptability of holding public events in Kyiv that focus on propagating homosexuality. The letter’s authors  ask Viktor Yanukovych to “delegate the Kyiv City State Administration and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine  to file a court appeal against LGBT community ‘s petition to hold street actions in Kyiv during May 2012, including meetings, marches, demonstrations or other public  peaceful actions, especially the street fair KyivPride2012.”

Information Department UGCC

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